Best blogging sites of 2021: Free and paid blog platforms
Wix has a range of paid-for subscription plans, but also a free offering, although it’s best to note upfront that this has some caveats. With the free product, your site will have Wix branding, and you’ll be limited to 500MB of data transfer per month, so it’s not for heavily-trafficked sites. You also only get 500MB storage, too, so bear that in mind.
Powerful and highly customizable, WordPress is a brilliant platform for blogs of any size, and bloggers of all levels of experience.
Creating your first blog is very straightforward, with a simple wizard that guides you through the process of choosing a name and suitable theme. You can leave it there and begin writing posts immediately, but the real fun lies in the more advanced editor, which lets you customize virtually every aspect of your blog’s appearance.
Blogger is another superb blogging platform. It’s not quite as powerful as WordPress, but on the other hand, it is more accessible for new users, which comes as no surprise when you learn that it’s owned by Google.
Blogger offers an excellent selection of templates, all of which include mobile versions optimized for smaller screens – a very sensible addition with so many people accessing online content through smartphones these days. Blogger is also web responsive.
Weebly takes a modular approach to blog building, with a drag-and-drop editor that lets you choose which elements to add to your site, and where.
Pick a basic template, then plonk various types of content onto the page, including social media links, text, images, maps, and sections of code. It’s a refreshingly simple way to build a blog that feels unique to you, but doesn’t require any messing about with menus.
Whereas the other free blogging sites we’ve looked at here are designed to get as many eyeballs on your posts as possible, Penzu takes the opposite philosophy, and is the equivalent of a locked diary stashed in a safe.
Penzu is a journal platform that makes your posts private by default and locks them down with at least one password (even after you’re logged in, you need a second one to read or edit your posts). That’s because it’s designed for private thoughts and personal reflection. There are free apps for iOS and Android that enable you to update your Penzu diary anywhere, but the contents are for your eyes only.